Eco-friendly gifts for Christmas: 15 buys for people who love our planet

Shop these eco-friendly gifts if you're determined to ensure that this Christmas is your most ethical and environmentally friendly yet (and why wouldn't you?)

eco-friendly natural paper with ribbon by period living
(Image credit: Period Living)

Been hunting for eco-friendly gifts and not sure where to start? Whether you're a hardcore eco-warrior or are buying for a friend who's into sustainable, ethical living, Christmas (and in particular Christmas gifts) can prove a challenge. This is where our sustainable Christmas gift guide comes into its own, proving that being conscious of your impact on the Earth doesn't have to mean gifting rubbish presents at Christmas.

Love this idea? Find more ways to have a sustainable Christmas.

1. Paraffin free candles that love the Earth (and you) 

soy based candle by handmade candle co

(Image credit: Handmade Candle Co.)

Christmas candles on your shopping list? Ensure you opt for natural soy candles which are naturally non-toxic and biodegradable. And, unlike some candles, they don't emit chemicals into the air. 

For a variety of earth-friendly candles consciously blended using fine fragrance oils, The Handmade Candle Company is a great starting point. More Christmas candles can be found in our dedicated gift guide.

2. Recycled glass vases

recycled glass vases by LSA International

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

A sophisticated and beautifully designed gift, the recycled glass vases by LSA International are sustainably made and have gorgeous, unusual shapes that will look great as part of a contemporary decorating scheme. 

3. Funky swimwear... that was once a plastic bottle

Batoko recycled plastic bottle swimsuit

(Image credit: Batoko)

Made from 100 per cent recycled plastic, we're completely in love with this (very millennial) Squiggle Swimming Costume from Batoko. Certified by Global Recycle Standard, each piece was industrial, consumer and ocean plastic in a former life, making its story much more interesting. 

Proving that sustainable fashion can be cool (and inclusive), costumes from Batoko are designed to flatter a whole range of body shapes – check out their Instagram for proof. 

4. A biodegradable yoga mat for earth-conscious yogis

biodegradable yoga mat by John Lewis

(Image credit: John Lewis)

The perfect option for an earth conscious yogi, or a friend determined to take up yoga, pilates or meditation in the New Year, we love this bio-degradable M-life Eco Luxury Yoga Mat from John Lewis. 

Lightweight, durable and stylishly designed, it's available in contrasting Rose and Black or Sage and Flint. Want to take up yoga and considering an M-life Yoga Mat as a gift to yourself? Check out Yoga with Adriene – a YouTube channel dedicated to making yoga accessible for all.

5. A gorgeous, reusable water bottle (bye, bye plastic)

Emma Bridgewater Chillys water bottle in Anemone

(Image credit: Emma Bridgewater)

If you're horrified by the fact that 13 billion plastic water bottles are purchased every year in the UK (only half of which are recycled), gifting a friend with a gorgeous reusable water bottle is a great step towards reducing this figure (and with it our impact on the environment).

We love the reusable water bottles from Chilly's that you can buy on Amazon; their gorgeous prints making for a lovely gift. 

For a limited time, you can get this bottle for free when you subscribe to Period Living for six months for just £14.99.

6. An eco-conscious stocking filler

reusable food wrap bags by John Lewis

(Image credit: John Lewis)

Looking for an affordable gift that suits a zero-waste lifestyle? Eddington's Bee's Wrap Honeycomb Reusable Sandwich Wrap may sound like a peculiar present, but we're certain it'll make for a handy stocking filler.

Made from organic cotton, sustainably harvested beeswax, organic jojoba oil and tree resin, it's 100 per cent biodegradable and a great option for eco-conscious sarnie lovers.

7. Know a take-away coffee addict? Help them to help the Earth

keep cup with glass cup and cork section from john lewis

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

We all have that friend who can't function without their morning Starbucks/Costa/hipster coffee, but do you know how much damage all those take-away coffee cups are doing to the earth? (We think you do, it's been all over the news, so you'll love this...)

Made using tempered glass and featuring a sustainably-sourced natural cork grip, Keep Cup is leading the backlash against single-use waste and we couldn't love their trendy design any more than we already do.

8. Unwind with the help of these zero-waste goodies

eco friendly bath and body kit from the future kept

(Image credit: The Future Kept)

What beats gorgeous bath and body products for the friend who loves to unwind after a stressful day? Answer: gorgeous and ethical bath and body products that come in zero-waste packaging. 

We're pining after this De-Stress and Balance Gift Set from The Future Kept – particularly the calm and conditioning almond oil – and love the idea of gifting it to our nearest and dearest.

(p.s. just a warning that this one can't be gifted to pregnant women.)

9. Encourage an eco-conscious 2020 with a book

sustainable home book from amazon

(Image credit: Amazon)

Know someone who's keen to be more earth conscious in 2020? Inspire them to make positive life changes with this handy and pretty practical book – Sustainable Home – written by sustainable lifestyle blogger Christine Liu.

Feeling extra generous? Have a flick through the book and pick out one or two things that will get them started on their journey towards sustainability. 

10. Organic cotton towels – for luxurious bathing

Organic cotton towels

(Image credit: Dip & Doze)

Organic cotton is much more sustainable than conventionally produced cotton, using much less water and no pesticides. Organic cotton producers also tend to treat their farmers much better, offering them fairer wages. And, to our mind, one of the most wonderful organic cotton products is the organic cotton towel. Our favourite ones come from Dip & Doze (amazing quality and classy, neutral shades), but there are now quite a few options out there. 

11. A Christmas hamper with a difference

Waitrose & Partners Duchy Organic Wooden Box Waitrose & Partners Duchy Organic Wooden Box

(Image credit: Waitrose & Partners)

The Duchy Organic hamper from Waitrose is full of tasty treats, and buying from Duchy is great on so many levels. Not only are their products better for the environment because they're organic, but they also support British farming, and every time you purchase a Duchy product, part of the profit goes towards good (farming-related) causes. 

12. A box of Fairtrade chocolates

Green & Black's Organic Tasting Collection Boxed Chocolates, 395g

(Image credit: Amazon)

Not all chocolate is made equal: sadly, most of the world's cocoa production is bad both for the environment and for the communities it's supposed to sustain. Fairtrade chocolate, on the other hand, strives to give cocoa producers better wages and working conditions (which also contributes to less intensive production methods). 

13. PJs made from Organic cotton

Galaxy organic cotton PJs from People Tree

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

A pyjama set is such a Christmas gift classic – there's literally no one who won't appreciate a new set. The Galaxy organic cotton PJs from People Tree are manufactured by the brand's dedicated manufacturing partner in India, committed to giving its workers a fair deal. Matching bottoms available. 

14. A beauty set that gives back 

Chantecaille Wild Pair gift set

(Image credit: Beauty Expert)

Chantecaille make high-quality, beautiful make up – the colours, textures, and the packaging are all to die for. They are also committed to helping wildlife: every time you purchase their limited edition make up, part of the profit goes towards wildlife conservation trusts. The Wild Pairs set contains a lipstick and a blush, and a gorgeous box. 

15. A Goodweave certified rug 

Tufted Tribal Handwoven Beige Rug

(Image credit: Wayfair)

A lovely rug is always a good gift for the home – there are so many shapes and sizes to choose from, you'll definitely find one that suits your gift recipient's decorating style. When choosing a rug as a gift, watch for the 'Goodweave certified' label – this label means that the rug has been independently accredited as ethically produced without the use of child labour. This gorgeous Tribal rug by the Bloomsbury Market has been handwoven in India. 

More Christmas gift ideas: